12/16/2015

Reflection

Reflection

When was the last time you did a financial and cultural reality check to determine your sustainability? Are you adding new customers? Are you meeting financial expectations? Are you growing revenue with current clients?

As a consumer electronics service company, our core business is repair depot, part testing and reclamation, and reverse logistics services. So what!?! Hundreds of companies provide similar services - some better than others - but all faced with the same market dynamics. As device retails fall, it is becoming more and more difficult to justify repair versus replacement. It's simply becoming more cost efficient to replace than fix. News flash!!! This is not going to change. In fact, access to the internet, phone communication, storage, social media, games, and music continue to be delivered cheaper, faster, and more dependably than ever before. Devices as we know them today are morphing into smaller, faster, one-size-fits-all gadgets. Think about what you can do with a smart phone today versus those same tasks 5 years ago. With all these changes (disruptions) we all are wondering the same things: Where will my company fit in the future? How long will my current business model last? What value can we add to other industries? I don't care where you are in the supply chain, you are not immune to the impact of these changes; retailers, OEMs, 3PLs, and reverse logistics companies are all looking for the holy grail of diversification and survival. Traditional lines of business are quickly drying up in direct proportion to changes in technology.

At InteliSol, we are watching this ball closely by seeking opportunities in healthcare. What we do every day in electronics translates nicely to managing capital equipment parts, recovering value from end of life devices, and helping healthcare take cost out of the system.

If you are a Medical Sector OEM, BIOMED parts supplier, GPO, or IND, take a look at what we have up our sleeve. Let's openly explore the mutual benefit of collaboration.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/coysurles

Coy Surles

817-230-5008

Manager Business Development

www.InteliSol.com






10/8/2015

Operating Room

Opportunity in the OR?

Business opportunities seldom result as a follow-all-the-marketing-dots-and-you'll-succeed proposition. The reality for me is that they typically surface at the most inopportune time, and in very nondescript ways.

Recently I received a call from an individual I did business with several years ago. I barely recognized his name or how our paths crossed, but something drove me to listen intently to what he had to say. He had simply thought of me while doing contract work at a health care facility in need of surgical capital equipment.

As I listened, it became evident that this was a very small facility with little financial upside. I was tempted to cut the conversation short. In no way did it fit in the main stream of my plans and activity for that day, but instead I chose to patiently listen to what was going on in his life and the purpose of his call.

However, it turns out that his call helped guide me to dust off my old capital equipment shoes and focus on the needs of this small hospital. Since then, other opportunities in healthcare have begun to surface in many different levels of the supply chain.

I am fortunate to be associated with a company that allows me the opportunity and time to apply their proven supply chain expertise to other channels of trade. We are taking on a very important role in the health care sector, so please stay tuned as we meet the needs of an industry facing all manner of challenges.

The affordable healthcare act, rising capital equipment costs, and shrinking payer revenue are all taking their toll on margins. We welcome the opportunity to demonstrate why we are a good choice in understanding and addressing your specific challenges.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/coysurles

Coy Surles

817-230-5008

Manager Business Development

www.InteliSol.com






7/29/2015

InteliSol is the MVP in today

How do I maximize asset recovery?
Issue #2

One of the most measurable score cards in reverse logistics is asset recovery. Whether done internally or through a third-party logistics company, the challenge is to salvage lost dollars from the pipeline of electronics being sent back, taken out of service, and/or end of life. Let's take a look at the asset recovery activity necessary to extract revenue.

We call this product movement the reverse side of supply chain and it is typically treated as a necessary cost of doing business with little attention paid to its real impact. We'll look at typical reverse logistic scenarios along with their corresponding options below.

  1. Classic return:
    1. The item was purchased, unboxed, perhaps set up, and is now being returned for reasons ranging from "buyer's remorse" to any number of malfunctions.
    2. Options: The item is no longer "new" and as such must be repaired and either resold by the retailer, sold to a third party, torn down for parts, or destroyed depending on the original cost basis versus its reclamation value.

    Are you satisfied with the dollars you are recovering?

  2. OEM sells new equipment to the enterprise customer and takes trade in equipment:
    1. Item is tested, drive is wiped and either torn down for parts or sold to third party.
    2. Parts are sold or stocked and used for future repairs of similar models.

    Are you harvesting reusable parts?

  3. Product is end of life and needs to be destroyed or recycled:
    1. Sent to or picked up by a recycling company that is licensed to dispose of electronic waste.

    Are you extracting value from end of life product?

InteliSol's experience in asset recovery returns real dollars

https://www.linkedin.com/in/coysurles

Coy Surles

817-230-5008

Manager Business Development

www.InteliSol.com






6/18/2015

InteliSol is the MVP in today

How do I best handle the return?
Issue #1

Electronic devices are returned for in or out of warranty repair and in some cases simply due to buyer's remorse. The key to maximum asset recovery lies in analyzing and mitigating the costs associated with each scenario. Much data exists to itemize the financial impact of returns and the hard costs associated with each activity. In this writing we'll examine the classic in warranty repair to better understand transportation flow, administrative requirements, and the actual repair process. Each of these buckets represent opportunities for cost reduction and improved customer service regardless of your position in the supply chain; bricks and mortar retailer, web based provider, or OEM.

The following scenario assumes a new PC (still under warranty) is being sent to the 3rd party repair facility under contract with the OEM.

  1. Prior to shipping, the customer was issued an RMA after one or more conversations with the OEM tech- support call center, along with shipping instructions.
  2. The OEM call center support staff informs the repair vendor of the customer's complaint along with several other pieces of information for tracking and documentation purposes.
  3. The customer delivers the packaged defective unit to the shipper with a prepaid label and RMA.
  4. The repair facility receives the item, logs all the pertinent information, and begins the assessment phase of the repair.
  5. A full evaluation of the unit is done and necessary parts are either on hand or will need to be ordered to complete the repair.
  6. The device goes to final testing prior to shipping and/or has an OBA (Out of Box Analysis) done prior to shipping back. This is a random selection process, and is done to catch any potential issues that may have been missed in the final inspection.
  7. The item is now shipped back to the consumer with notification to the OEM.

Real attention to the people interaction from the moment the problem arises to the time the device lands on the repair bench and is shipped back is what drives customer satisfaction. Is the problem software or hardware related? Did the OEM customer service representative communicate the complaint correctly to the repair center? Is the problem intermittent or continual? How long did the repair process take? Is this the first time the device has experienced a problem? While each warranty repair may be a little different, most often patterns emerge that signal trouble ahead and corrective measures that must be taken. Are you kept informed?

Our business model depends on timely and accurate data that not only takes cost out of the system, but promotes a positive consumer experience as well.

InteliSol is the MVP in today's electronic's reverse logistics world.

Thank you for reading this post and please consider giving us a call.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/coysurles

Coy Surles

817-230-5008

Manager Business Development

www.InteliSol.com






5/6/2015

InteliSol is the Key to untangling the many Returns Management Roads.

Why is my product being returned?
Issue #4

A top line of my prior articles on this subject demonstrates the size and complexity of no trouble found (NTF), confusing setup instructions, and buyer's remorse. As with many supply chain challenges, there is no one-size-fits-all solution. Given the variety of PC configurations in the marketplace today, success in reducing these margin drains will require that OEMs and retailers really understand brand and model-specific return data.

This, however, is one of many time consuming reverse logistics tasks that take a back seat to the forward side of the supply chain. Innovation and new item introductions with all the associated sales and marketing efforts remain the focus, while returns continue to have a negative financial impact with comparatively little attention. Third party companies that excel in Reverse Logistics offer a wide variety of solutions to help recover real dollars from these returned assets while maintaining a high level of customer satisfaction.

At InteliSol, we work with national brand PC manufactures, their component OEMs, and major 3rd party logistics companies. Our core business is PC returns - from call center support to repair depots, part teardown, and component testing activities. Fifteen years of providing asset recovery solutions positions InteliSol as a lean and efficient reverse logistics choice.

InteliSol is the key to untangling the many returns management roads.

Thank you for reading this post and please consider giving us a call.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/coysurles

Coy Surles

817-230-5008

Manager Business Development

www.InteliSol.com






4/29/2015

Why is my product being returned?
Issue #3

Industry statistics claim buyer's remorse comprises 27% of PC returns. "Buyer's remorse? Are you kidding me? What's up with that?" For competitive reasons, retailers and manufacturers alike are fast to embrace a no-questions-asked return policy that clearly is not serving them well. I can visit your store (retailer showroom), look at various features and benefits of a variety of PC brands and categories, then decide to buy it cheaper on-line and return it if I see something I like better. News flash - everybody loses in this proposition with the exception of the buyer who is able to demo at home for several days at no cost. Do you really know what this is costing you? Some compelling data has been published by Accenture that addresses the total cost of returns, broken down by the cost of each asset recovery activity. Remember we are looking at a 20 billion dollar return business and, and this amount is rising.

20% of total return reprocessing cost is attributed to "no trouble found," shown in yellow below.[1][2]

Of that number, almost a third are sent back for no reason other than "I've changed my mind." Retailers and OEMs alike would do well to revisit this activity, albeit a tight rope task indeed. What we do know is the increasing number of PC returns is not a sustainable model at current industry margins.

We encourage you to add to this discussion and I appreciate your readership.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/coysurles

Coy Surles

Manager Business Development

www.InteliSol.com






4/22/2015

Why is my product being returned?
Issue #2

Staying with the theme of NTF (No Trouble Found), which accounts for 68% of electronic device returns, let's look at the role of the OEM with regards to the "right out of the box" customer experience. How do you score in these 3 areas?

  • Instructions for setup

"Do not assume I have adequate knowledge of this laptop to breeze through the setup stage from unpacking all the way to internet connection, software installation, cloud storage, and understanding all the features and benefits." The fastest way to frustrate, confuse, and entice a return is to write instructions that less than computer -savvy consumers get lost in or, worse, misinterpret, leading to a host of other setup issues.

  1. Re-examine what you think are "easy to understand" step by step instructions. Use easily understood terminology, and even footnote and explain words that could be easily misunderstood.
  2. Use pictures that accurately relate to the particular instruction to help comprehend the next step.
  3. Include tests or assurances that each step was followed correctly before moving on to the next.

  • Readily accessible call center and tech support

"Catch me early in the experience of misunderstanding with a customer support phone number." As basic as this customer service function is, often a phone number or online chat option is missing or very difficult to find. This is an important opportunity to earn high customer satisfaction scores, provided the caller is greeted with an experienced, understandable, and patient specialist.

  • Tracking customer complaints

We've all heard insanity defined as doing the same thing over and over yet expecting different results. The same applies if data is not being collected to help garner a better understanding of the customer experience, and taking the necessary steps to correct customer frustrations.

Thank you for reading this post, and I invite comments and contributions to this ongoing study.

Coy Surles

Manager Business Development

www.InteliSol.com






4/15/2015

Why is my product being returned?
Issue #1

A great deal of information has been published by Accenture, CEA, RLA, and others regarding the impact and size of consumer electronic returns. While this issue is certainly not new, I will attempt to gain and communicate insight in addressing these issues. Depending on price point, device category, and whether purchased online or at retail, returns can easily exceed 20%. Industry statistics project returns will grow to $19 billion, and represent up to 5% of manufacturer and 2% of retailer gross sales.

This will be the first of many posts examining the dynamics of PC returns. Now let's take a look at culprit number one shown below.

68% of consumer electronic returns are in the category of No Trouble Found (NTF)

E-commerce (online) is contributing to these numbers as savvy consumers are taking advantage of a little-to-no-risk returns environment. Common reasons for NTF returns include buyer's remorse, too complicated to set up, and perceived hardware or software failure. The device is returned in an open box (no longer new) and fully operational. What happens next in the process determines the level of customer satisfaction and what value can be reclaimed.

The event typically unfolds with the end user either contacting the manufacturer for return instructions, or tech support, at which point the call is either handled internally or routed to an outside call center and repair facility. Once the determination is made to return the product, an RMA must be issued, postage paid shipping must be arranged, the item must be received, fully tested, data wiped, checked for cosmetic damage, boxed, labeled, recorded, stored, and finally shipped back or resold. Each step has an associated cost and will determine the level of customer satisfaction and margin drain.

While product design, quality, setup instructions, and the like are significant considerations, one cannot overlook the role call centers play in mitigating these losses. With the goal of turning a costly return into a satisfied customer, call centers must be good at communicating basic setup steps while offering technical support and good old-fashioned customer service. Are you looking to your call center to help prevent returns, or simply giving the consumer shipping and handling instructions? Please take a moment to contact InteliSol to learn more about our block-and-tackle approach to this problem. We have an impressive list of customers realizing substantial savings by use of our call center and repair depot in Fort Worth.

Coy Surles

Manager Business Development

www.InteliSol.com